If you're refurbishing your deck or having a new one installed, consider safety issues if you'll be aging in place or if an elderly person lives in your home. A deck is much safer when it has a railing around it and a handrail next to the steps.
When considering safety for an older person, a handrail is important for even one or two steps. Also, a round handrail is a safe style to choose. Here's a look at why round handrails make using steps safer and how one is installed on your deck.
Round Handrails Improve Safety
You can buy different types of handrails, and some are more decorative than functional. A round handrail is functional since it can be gripped and used for support and to prevent falls. Other handrail shapes may be attractive, but it might not be possible to grab one with a full grip that allows the fingers to circle the handrail fully.
Being able to grip the rail makes you feel more steady and secure as you go up and down a step or stairs. Plus, if you stumble, you can grab the handrail and grip it in an instant, which you might not be able to do with a square-shaped rail.
The size of the handrail is important too since one that's too large can't be gripped as well as a smaller rail. Talk to the contractor who installs your railing and handrail about safety and complying with ADA regulations. If you want the safest handrail possible, then follow the ADA guidelines for the size, shape, and placement of the handrail on your deck.
Codes Apply To Deck Handrail Installation
Building codes stipulate when handrails are required and how high they should be. You may want to discuss codes with your contractor. Codes might also affect how the railing is installed since you'll want the ability to grip the rail continuously and not have to lift your hand to go around brackets.
Still, you'll have a few choices of your own. For instance, you can choose the material for the handrail. Wood might match your deck, but you might prefer metal, especially if your deck railing will be made of aluminum. Also, consider that wood can deteriorate, and if you grip the rail hard after it's been exposed to the weather for a few years, you could get a splinter.
Just because you're primary concern is safety, you don't have to worry about a safe handrail being unsightly. Your contractor can show you options in deck railing and matching handrails that have nice visual appeal while being functional so you stay safe as you age and so older family members and guests are safe when they visit.Share
11 May 2021
There's a common misconception that all construction workers and contractors do the same job. On one hand, this is kind of true. Construction workers and contractors all built things. However, most people in this field have a specialty. Some hang drywall. Others paint. Still others know how to pour foundations or install roofs. While some construction workers and contractors move from field to field throughout their careers, others spend their career honing one particular skill. Either approach is fine, from our perspective. What we really care about is the excellent work that these workers do, and that's what we plan to feature on this website.